‘Radical’ Pedagogy Requires ‘Conservative’ Epistemology


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13 Scopus citations


Many defences of multiculturalist educational initiatives conjoin a‘liberal’ or ‘radical’ moral/political view—that education should endeavour to treat students with respect, and that respecting non‐dominant,‘marginalised’ students requires protecting them from the hegemonic domination of the dominant culture—with what appears to be an equally radical epistemological view, according to which respecting minority students and cultures requires respecting their culturally specific epistemologies, which in turn requires refraining from imposing upon them a dominating hegemonic epistemology concerning the nature of truth, rational justification, and so on. In this paper I argue (1) that this‘radical’ epistemological position is fatally flawed; and (2) that, if true, it would undermine, rather than undergird, the favoured moral l political view. I argue, that is, that proponents of‘radical’ pedagogy would do better to reject the associated‘radical’ epistemological view in favour of a more traditional,‘conservative’ one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Philosophy of Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History
  • Philosophy


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